Medicinal cannabis products approved for epilepsy

For the first time, the EU has endorsed the utilization of a therapeutic cannabis item meant for patients with two uncommon, yet serious, types of childhood epilepsy.

Physicians can recommend Epidyolex – an oral mixture of cannabidiol, which originates from the cannabis plant – if they believe it will be the solution for people living with epilepsy.

Epidyolex has been approved for use in the UK and other countries in the European Union, yet the NHS has not yet recognized it, which means they can’t prescribe it.

However, some parents are demanding options that contain a component not found in this medication.

A month ago, the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence settled on an initial decision not to endorse the prescription of Epidyolex, because of the absence of proof of long-term efficiency.

Final guidance is expected by the end of the year.

What is Epidyolex?

The drug lacks any of the psychoactive chemicals of the cannabis plant, THC also called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The use of Epidiolex has reduced seizure episodes in people with certain forms of epilepsy, thus reducing infant mortality.

Some parents, who have visited the Netherlands to purchase cannabis medications, believe the treatment won’t help many kids since it doesn’t contain THC, which they think has helped their children.

Epidyolex has been endorsed as a treatment alternative for kids of age 2 with Lennox-Gastaut disorder or Dravet disorder – hard-to-treat conditions that can cause numerous seizures daily.

The medicine, created by GW Pharmaceuticals, will be utilized under another epilepsy drug called clobazam.

Shouldn’t something be said about other medical cannabis items?

There is a wide range of medicinal cannabis items. The utilization of ones containing THC was legalized over the UK on November 2018.

These medications can be endorsed exclusively by pro physicians under a few circumstances where different drugs have not succeeded.

Some of these unlicensed remedies have been made on the NHS.

There are several cannabis-infused meds that are legal in the UK.

Nabilone is a medication in capsule form that has been created to function like THC.

Physicians can offer it to individuals having chemotherapy to help fight nausea.

Sativex is a cannabis-infused drug that contains THC and CBD and is legal in the UK for individuals with multiple sclerosis.

Recreational utilization of cannabis is still illegal in the UK.

The expert's view


Ley Sander, Medical Director at the Epilepsy Society and Professor of Neurology at University College London, stated that this new medication would bring back faith for some families and EU endorsement feels like a step in the right direction. However, therapeutic cannabis is still a medical minefield, and there are numerous obstacles ahead.

“CBD was not prescribed by NICE for remedy on the NHS. Significantly, the pharmaceutical business keeps on working with the medical advisory body to guarantee that medications are cost-effective and that its long-term impacts are clear.”

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